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Drug Overdose Deaths in Manatee County


A recent report from the Florida Medical Examiners Commission finds that Florida’s 12th Judicial Circuit, which includes DeSoto, Manatee and Sarasota Counties, had the fourth highest number of heroin-related deaths in the state for the first half of 2015.  The issue of drug-related deaths has been particularly bad in Manatee County which established itself as the heroin capital of Florida in 2014 with 110 deaths due to heroin and or fentanyl.

Chief Medical Examiner for the district, Dr. Russell Vega says early indicators predict that 2016 will see those numbers improve.  We’ll take a closer look at local trends in drug overdose deaths in recent years, how law enforcement action to disrupt the drug supply chain is helping, and new education and prevention efforts launching this year.


Merab Favorite, Communications Coordinator for Drug Free Manatee

Captain Todd Shear, Special Investigations Division, Manatee County Sheriff’s Office

Dr. Russell Vega, Chief Medical Examiner for Florida’s 12th Judicial Circuit